Update on the study into the impact and careers of doctoral graduates

The study into the impact and careers of doctoral graduates is progressing. On February 25th we passed the first checkpoint and we decided to survey doctoral graduates in April.

Even before we have reached the survey itself, hundreds of doctoral graduates from 2003-2006 have contacted CFE to register their willingness to participate. From this, we know many doctoral graduates are willing to help with research into the benefits of doctoral study and inspiring a next generation of researchers. However, there is still much to do and work is on going to reach more people who were awarded a PhD by a UK university between 2003 and 2006, with the start point being UK and EU people.  We hope to survey as many as possible, however they were funded and across all subjects of study. Many universities and professional bodies have offered to help contact their networks.  We hope that current and recent researchers will also mention the study to friends and colleagues who might be in this group.

If you, or someone you know wishes to register for this survey, please visit the CFE website at: www.cfe.org.uk/doctoralimpactstudy.

CFE and partners are drafting questions for the survey, building on work done to review relevant literature and develop the logic chain for impact indicators.  These questions will be agreed by the steering group over Easter so that CFE can pilot them in early April. The questions will explore what doctoral graduates have been able to do as a result of their PhD studies.  Impacts may be many and varied, for example: problem solving; technological developments; medical or bioscience advances; environmental benefits; process improvements; policy development; informing standards and legislation; improving our understanding of society and/or; enriching our culture and knowledge.  We will also be interested in the extent to which doctoral graduates inform or lead on innovations and their career paths to their current roles. The survey will inform plans for interviewing employers and doctoral graduates, to explore the impacts further.

If you wish to pass on information about the study, briefings can be found here.

When the survey gets underway we will provide another update and the link to the questionnaire. We are also looking into doing a podcast, seeking volunteers from the pilot to participate in interviews.

Gateway to Research API documentation

The linked document contains a technical summary of the APIs available in the GTR Beta release of March 2013. More APIs will be added and the functioning of existing APIs will change over time – readers are asked to check the GtR web portal to ensure they are working from the most current version.

At the time of writing, the GtR project provided two APIs: GtRAPI and CERIF. Both produce outputs in XML and JSON formats. The GtRAPI is the same API that is used by the web portal and there is a direct correlation between the visible information on the web portal screens and the output from the API. The CERIF API produces XML output using the CERIF schema, provides access to all the data currently held in the GtR Database and is stored in a highly structured format. Although JSON output for the CERIF API is available we would advise people to only use the XML interface.

More details in the document.

GtR Application Programming Interface V1.0

GtR Data and System Release March 2013

GtR Release Note 04/03/2013

Paul Chitson, Gateway to Research Technical Coordinator

First of all apologies that this release note is late as two system and one data change have been completed since the initial beta launch.

User Interface Changes

– Addition: Google cookie. We have begun to use the Google analytics to track usage of the GtR Site in addition to our own backend web-log analysis. Google analytics drops a cookie on client machines.
– Fixed: A bug for older IOS and some android devices where the browser ACCEPT-HEADER on http requests was ”application\xml” first, which lead to rejection on the home page and XML output on other pages.
– Improvement: Changing the search term does not return you to the Project tab, but leaves you on the tab you were last looking at.
– Improvement: The Organisation details page now has paging and sorting added for the projects. Other improvements are in the pipeline.
– Improvement: Fellowships did not have a PI listed. We have now made the fellow also the PI on fellowships.
– Improvement: Funded Amount Facet now hides facets with no results.
– Improvement: We have removed some of the character encoding issues that saw unusual characters appearing in text fields.
– Improvement: On the publications search results and detail page many publications were listed as being “in Unknown”. We have reduced the number of publications that show this by recognising the publication types that should not have a parent publication (e.g. books). Some remain and these are being sorted over time as we get to grips with some data quality issues.
– Change: URLs have been changed to reflect the tab name (so person instead of Pers). The search URL has also been changed to “search/{resourcetype}?term=…”. The result of this change is that saved searches and details pages may no longer work. The change was to improve consistency in URLs and to provide the search capability within the APIs.

Data Refresh

• Data was pulled from source systems at the end of January. This fresh pull improved the quality of some data where we found issues in the mapping process (such as two copies of the same abstract being pushed together).
• We are aware that some data still has issues (such as missing abstracts). The GtR project has a policy of getting changes made in source systems where possible so that the issue is fixed for all uses, this unfortunately can take a considerable time.
• Next Data Refresh is scheduled for the end of April.

API Changes

• Improvement: The API’s can now have a search mechanism.
• Improvement: It is now possible to page through all projects, publications, organisations and people using the API (i.e. there is a listing API).
• URL Changes: For the GTRXML interface the resource names now match the tabs.
• API Documentation will be available by 07/03/2013